Five Frugal Things

by Katy on October 15, 2016 · 59 comments

Queen bee purse

  1. I agreed to stay late at the hospital as my patient wasn’t too much work, and with the kids at college and my husband at work (he works nights) I was coming home to an empty house anyway. I earned overtime without an extra commute and will enjoy a plush paycheck next Friday. I think I’ll start accepting this opportunity more often, even though it’s tiring to work 14+ hour days as an RN.
  2. I didn’t have much in the fridge, but I was able to cobble together a batch of white bean rosemary soup, which was extra yummy as I had a few strips of bacon. I also altered the recipe by removing about half of the beans before pureeing the soup to make it less paste-y. Very delicious, and perfect for yesterday’s work lunch.
  3. My son surprised me by coming home for the weekend to attend a Portland Timbers soccer game. This is a benefit of him attending a university that’s only a couple hours from the house. I spent my first year away from home in Israel, and then went to college in Ohio, so there were exactly zero casual trips back home. He doesn’t own a car, but he casually hopped on a $15 Bolt Bus, (which would have been cheaper if he’d planned ahead.) Either way, much cheaper than buying a plane ticket!
  4. I sold a Queen Bee purse that I’d had on Craigslist for months and had almost given up on. I picked it up at a consignment shop, as I knew it was an in demand brand. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to remove a Sharpie mark, which is why I think it took so long to sell. I only turned a $15 profit in the end, but that’s still better than nothing. Once a Craigslist listing is created, it’s just a matter of hitting “renew” every few days, so it’s not a big deal to be patient with the sale.
  5. I didn’t buy a Lear Jet.

Now your turn. What frugal things have you been up to?

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

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How Have You Cut Your Expenses?

by Katy on October 13, 2016 · 61 comments

The following is a reprint of a previously published post. Enjoy!

Finding little Finicky Frugal Maneuverings is all fine, dandy and super satisfying, but add a dollop of focused expense cutting? (And of course, figuring out ways to bring in more income, but that’s a post for another day.)

Pure heaven.

I ♥ figuring out ways to bring my monthly expenses down. I recently started sharing garbage service with the neighbors, have cancelled my home phone line and finally finished paying off my ridiculously expensive Honda mini-van, (which alone frees up an extra $450 per month!) We were able to get my older son out of a martial arts center contract, and Netflix? Buh-bye!

Next on my list is to go through our insurance plans, and see if the deal offered through our credit union would be a smart move. (I know from working in a personal injury law office that cheap insurance can bite you in the the ass, so I will not make this movie lightly.) I did call our agent a few years ago, and she was able to give us discounts for having bachelor’s degrees, for not driving too much, and we upped the deductible on our home owner’s insurance, which garnered significant savings.

I am always trying to figure out ways to bring in extra income, (without of course working any extra. 😉 )and I know there are more little hacks that we can all learn from one another.

So . . . How have you cut your expenses? Please share your ideas in the comments section below.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

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Savings Goals — Goodwill Style

by Katy on October 11, 2016 · 43 comments

I’m a big proponent of savings, and apparently I’m not the only one. However, judging by the number of targeted savings banks that line the shelves of every thrift shop, few people actually want to save their money in a tacky novelty crock. I’ve written about them HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE.

Whether it’s for a shopping spree . . .

Shopping spree

Or an iPod.
iPod money

A vacation fund . . .

vacation fund

Or mall money.

Or a girls night out. You know . . .  one without an apostrophe.

Girls night out

Or an incorrectly placed apostrophe. This one refers to one girl, a singular “girl” who who gets a “night out.” By herself. No wonder this bank was donated to Goodwill.

Girl's night out

Thank goodness that it’s possible to save in an actual credit union account. And that “girls” or “girl’s” or ahem . . . women can have a night out. Without debt and without a novelty crock.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

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Five Frugal Things

by Katy on October 10, 2016 · 76 comments

  1. I had a mostly low key weekend, as I worked at the hospital on Saturday and then just puttered around the house on Sunday. I did run a quick errand yesterday, but it was just to The Grocery Outlet and Fred Meyer to pick up food staples. Of course I brought my own food to work and drank the free coffee and tea.
  2. The house was a chilly 60° degrees when I got up this morning, (that’s 15.5° C for non-Americans) so you can understand that I was tempted to turn on the furnace. However, I chose instead to grab my warmest socks, an extra layer and a throw blanket since I was going to be sitting still in front of the computer. Add in a mug of Red Rose tea, and I’m a cozy as a bug in a rug. No reason to heat an entire 2000 square-foot house when I can simply heat myself.
  3. My husband and I drove down to see our younger son at college on Friday. It was a bit of a schlep as the two-hour drive expanded into four due to accidents and rush hour, but we were in no hurry. Our son needed a few extra things from home and we figured it would cost less to drive in our Prius than to mail everything. We took him out for dinner and got to hear about his classes and new friends. Well worth the cost of dinner.
  4. My husband had earned a free Starbucks coffee through their app, so he ordered an enormous  mocha which we split for the potentially sleepy ride home. As always, I whipped out my reusable mug.
  5. I didn’t buy a Lear Jet.

Now your turn. What frugal things have you been up to?

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

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10 Ways to Practice Extreme Frugality

by Katy on October 7, 2016 · 31 comments

katy-wolk-stanley-300x272

This post first appeared over at ClarkHoward.com.

If you’re a Clark Howard follower, you’re probably already employing his advice to comparison shop, cook from scratch and scour the shelves of your local Dollar Tree store. But what if you’ve already incorporated these easy changes, but are still struggling financially? Then you need to go one step forward, a step into the land of  . . . extreme frugality!

What’s extreme frugality? It’s taking the steps that others might find odd, but have the potential to put some breathing room into your finances.

Mix up your food shopping habits

It may seem easier to buy all your food from a single traditional grocery store, but there’s money to be saved by shaking up your routine. Go ahead and poke your head into ethnic stores, and you’ll be unlikely to leave empty handed, as certain foods such as meat and produce can be less than half the price of your regular store.

Expiration dates? Take them with a grain of salt. Confused by the “sell-by,” “best-by” and “expiration dates” on your food? You’re not the only one. Americans waste an estimated “8 million pounds of food annually” due to these vague and unregulated terms, so don’t assume that the date on your food products are set in stone. Use your common sense when it comes to tossing food, and make sure to check out this article by food waste author Jonathan Bloom for more details.

Eat in season. And no, this doesn’t mean you should only shop at elite farmer’s markets. It means to enjoy your corn mid-summer when it’s 10/$1, fill up on apples in the fall and enjoy your asparagus in the spring. Not only will you be buying when produce is at its lowest price, you’ll also enjoy the natural seasonality of food like your grandparents did.

Institute a restaurant ban

I’m not one to argue that eating out isn’t one of life’s greatest pleasures, but if you’re unable to pay the bills, it might be time to take a break. However, you do need to be a realist about those inevitable busy nights, or you’ll find yourself falling back into old habits. Whether you’re stockpiling a few lasagnas in the freezer, stashing a couple of pre-made meals or accepting that it won’t kill you to serve a simple meal of scrambled eggs, it’s important to have a backup plan in place. Don’t worry, those restaurants will still be there when your credit union balance is back up again.

Tinker with your utilities

You may cringe when you get your monthly utility bills in the mail, but with a few simple changes you can take charge of your utility accounts.

Switch your lights over to LED bulbs. Gone are the days when these energy efficient bulbs cost $6 apiece, and if you look around you might be able to score them for free. I filled out a home energy use survey through the Energy Trust of Oregon a few months ago, and was mailed a big box of free bulbs. A quick look at other states’ electric company websites show similar programs, many of which offer free in-home energy audits. These are great, as they can be utilized by both home owners and renters!

Few of us earn different amounts based on the seasons, which is why it makes sense to switch to an equal-pay utility program. These programs even out your monthly bills, so you’ll make the same payment every month. Years ago my husband and I switched to an equal-pay program and have really appreciated that we’re no longer blindsided by $350 gas bills after a January cold snap or a swelteringly hot August. And the best part is that one bill per year either charges extra or debits any overpayments, and we’ve always received the debit!

Give, receive and swap

The Buy Nothing Project is working to connect people through the gifting of free wanted and needed items, and there’s likely a chapter in your area. Organized through Facebook, you can look for a group in your area by typing “buy nothing” plus your city, town or neighborhood in the Facebook search box. I’ve both given and received items ranging from a computer charger to a gallon of milk. It’s free, and you can specifically ask for what you need, want or even simply wish to borrow.

Don’t have a buy nothing group in your area? That’s okay, as you can ask your Facebook friends if anyone has whatever extra doohickey that you’re looking for. Most people are happy to share their excess stuff, so don’t be shy.

Many communities have swap gatherings where people bring a certain category ranging from clothing to baby items or even simple household belongings. Participants take what they want and then donate the leftovers to charity. People get to freshen up their wardrobe (or home) without spending a penny, and it’s a great option for setting a few gifts aside as pieces are often brand new! Want to know how to host a swap? Oprah’s got you covered!

Check out what your library has to offer

You already know that your local library has free books, but you did you know that they likely also offer free e-books, audiobooks, e-magazines, DVD’s, Blu-rays, tutoring, foreign language instruction and much much more? Libraries are a great resource for people who’ve had to cancel paid TV subscriptions or Amazon Prime streaming TV. Click HERE to explore the amazing resources that your tax dollars have already paid for.

Stop buying disposables

Although I’ll never suggest that you switch to reusable cloth toilet paper, there is money to be saved by letting go of most other disposable products.

You might be tempted by the pictures of pretty reusable paper towels on Pinterest, but it doesn’t have  to be so complicated. Launderable rags made from stained old T-shirts or ratty old towels make perfect paper towel replacements, and can be stored out of sight. Then bust out those cloth napkins and dish towels and you’ll be set!

Stop buying facial tissue. Grab a stack of handkerchiefs from grandpa’s estate for the occasional sniffle and upgrade to a roll of toilet paper when you’ve got a genuine cold.

Make the switch to a menstrual cup. Let’s face it, it’s expensive to buy menstrual products every month, and when you consider that a menstrual cup costs just $30 and is a one time purchase, it’s a little easier to get past any squeamishness.

Fix instead of replace

If you’re broke, it’s time to start repairing instead of replacing your stuff. Let go of broken things being an excuse to treat yourself to something new. So get out that super-glue, dust off that sewing kit and familiarize yourself with the endless number of youtube videos that can walk you through even the most complicated of repair processes.

Cut out booze and soda

If you’re struggling to make ends meet it’s time to take a cold carbonated hard look at the money you’re spending on beverages. This might be a painful step, but extreme frugality takes sacrifice and it’s hard to justify soda and alcohol when having enough money for living expenses is unsure. So brew up a batch of iced tea and raise a toast to frugality.

Free up your entertainment

Having a limited budget can make it a challenge to get out of the house for fun. However, with a bit of  research and creativity, there are plenty of fun things to do when your wallet has developed an echo. First off, make it a habit to grab any free publications that might advertise local events. Concerts in the park, outdoor activities like hiking and picnics require no money, plus your library is always a great resource for free activities. One of my favorite things to do is to attend author readings in bookstores, which are interesting yet don’t cost a penny. Have a hankering for a museum visit? Check in with your library to see if they have cultural passes, as many of them do.

Invite friends over for a potluck game night. Have everyone bring a dish and then choose a game like Cards Against Humanity or maybe something a little more PG. Either way, it’s not necessary to spend a ton of money when enjoying the company of family and friends.

Make more money

Cutting spending to a bare minimum is all well and good when times are tight, but sometimes the answer lies in scraping up some extra cash. Whether you’re selling unused belongings, participating in a focus group or picking up a side-gig, there’s never a time when a few extra bucks doesn’t come in handy.

Conclusion

Life can be hard when money is tight, but that doesn’t mean that you’re without options. There are ways to adhere to an impossibly tight budget without sacrificing fun. And maybe you can even find satisfaction in the creative challenge that comes with a limited budget. After all, necessity is the mother of invention.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

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{ 31 comments }

Five Frugal Things

by Katy on October 4, 2016 · 68 comments

Antique marbles

  1. I spent all day yesterday writing, and although I had “grocery store” on my to-do list, it didn’t exactly happen. However, I was still able to scrounge up a simple dinner for my husband and myself. Pesto, cheese and bread transformed into grilled cheese sandwiches, and a can of chicken noodle soup finished up the meal. It wasn’t an Instagram worthy meal, but it did the trick.
  2. I put two of my older son’s used textbooks on Half.com and then pretty much forgot about them. (It took maybe four minutes to list the books.) I woke up today to an e-mail notifying me that one of the books had sold, so I packaged it up and will drop it at the post office while running errands this afternoon. Needless to say, I was able to cobble together free packaging from my stash of used padded envelopes that insist on entering my orbit.
  3. My thrifted watches end on eBay today, and although only two have bids, I expect that things will change when it gets closer to the end time. (Most experienced eBay users know to not place major bids until the last minute as it increases the price too much.) I’ll relist what didn’t sell and likely change the format from “bid” to “buy it now.”
  4. I spent a half hour or so last night looking at completed listings on antique marbles, and have decided that it’s time to sell off some of my own antique marbles. It used to be that every antique store had a bowl of old marbles next to the register, and I would always spend a few minutes sifting through them and spend maybe 50¢ to add to my collection. These marbles now sell for a lot of money, so I think I’ll experiment with a few listings to see if I can make some cashola from these dust collectors. I once bought a glass vase of antique marbles from Goodwill for $4 or so, and ended up making over $500 by selling them off. I’ll need to reeducate myself about identification and description terms, but that’s not so difficult. I’ll also need to spend some time cleaning them up, because as you can see in the above photo, they are extremely dusty!
  5. I submitted another Clark Howard article, then proposed and got approved for two more, I’m working at the hospital tomorrow, I decreased our cable-TV package down to the bare minimum, (it would have cost more to cancel it, as we get a “bundling” discount on our internet) and tonight I’ll help my mother clean one of her guest cottages. (Click HERE to see how this particular “doll house” was Apartment Therapy’s “House of The Day” on Friday!)

Now your turn. What frugal things have you been up to?

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

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Financial Regrets, Do You Have Them?

by Katy on October 3, 2016 · 23 comments

This blog post first appeared over at ClarkHoward.com.

Unless you’re a fictional character, you’re likely to have a few financial regrets in your life. Hopefully they can be counted on a single hand, and if you’re lucky they’re long in your past. Either way, almost all of us have made cringe-worthy financial decisions, which can often follow us years or even decades into our adulthood.

When asked about their financial regrets, members of the popular Facebook group The Non-Consumer Advocate had these regrets to share:

Buying a house

Not surprisingly, people both shared that they regretted buying and not buying a house. While one woman reported her regret over “buying a money pit of a house,” other people regretted “buying too much house” or “buying a house before we were financially stable.” Specifically, people regretted “Paying PMI” (Private Mortgage Insurance) that comes with putting less than a 20% down payment onto a house.

On the other hand, holding off on buying a house can also lead to regret, as another person lamented that “I wish I’d bought a house before house prices became completely out of my reach.”

College and student loans

Although a college degree can lead to a meaningful and well paying career, one person regretted “getting a college degree that didn’t lead to a specific job/career. I chose based solely on interest and it’s pretty much worthless today.” Similarly, another person shared that “I regret going to college for a career where there is huge competition for few jobs and using a lot of student loans to do so.”

Of course, entire tomes could be written about student loan regrets, but one group member specifically regretted “taking so many student loans ‘for living expenses’ when I had a full scholarship! Now my husband is helping repay what I spent on dinners with my ex!” Another had the honest response that “by far my biggest regret is using student loans to buy clothes, a fancy keyboard, a car, etc.” Ouch!

But like house buying, the regrets swing to both sides as one woman looked back and shared the regret of “not getting a master’s degree when it was cheap.”

Considering that 40% of first time entering college students do not complete their bachelor’s degrees, it’s smart to think twice before choosing a major and taking out student loans.

General loans

Whether a borrower or a lender, there were ample regrets in this category as well. The practice of “co-signing a loan” was a common regret, specifically “both lending and borrowing from family.”

Weddings

With the average wedding costing $32,641, it’s no wonder that couples regret the money spent on a single day. One former bride put it all on the line when she wrote that she regretted “a wedding that lived up to other people’s (who weren’t paying) expectations. Should have had my dang potluck and gone with a pretty sundress I could wear again.”

All the stuff

Throw a few things into your cart at Target and it adds up a bit, but multiply that action through the years, and it’s enough to create a bottomless pit of financial regret. People shared everything from “frittering away money on mindless purchases I didn’t need or even want very much instead of saving more.” to “my biggest financial regret would have to be buying so much needless stuff that I truly could have lived very nicely without over the years. Had I saved all of that money instead it would have been an excellent addition to my retirement nest egg.”

Parents are particularly susceptible to this regret as one mother shared that “much of the stuff I bought at Target when my kids were little – because that is just what people did . . . especially the plastic ‘crap’ that broke. Also, having too many things – to the extent that I did not know what I had.”

Of course, buying so much stuff inevitably leads to owning too much stuff which led to this person’s regret. “Buying. All. The. STUFF. And now wanting to get rid of it all.”

Not contributing to retirement/HSA

This one is a personal regret as I was in my job a full three years before anyone talked to me about the retirement plan and the employer match that I was qualified for. My heart drops into the depths of my stomach when I think of all the compound interest that I missed out on, especially since I’m now long vested in that same job.

I try not to feel too stupid, as this is a common financial regret as can be seen in this person’s similar story. “Not taking advantage of the employer 401k match at my first job out of college. I didn’t educate myself on what it was and didn’t put anything toward retirement. I kick myself when I think about how much I could have saved and how much it’ll cost me in the future for not starting earlier.”

At least I’ve kept my money squarely in my 403b unlike this woman who confessed to “emptying a $3000 retirement account in order to pay for preschool for my then 3 year old. (So stupid!!!)”

This person shared a HSA (Health Savings Account) regret related to her’s husband’s employer. “My husband was at his current job a year before we found out HSA was an option and his employer adds 1k to it every year.” Oops!

Credit cards

No piece about financial regrets could be complete without a focus on credit cards. Whether it’s the common story of “getting every single department store credit card out there and maxing them out and making only the minimum payments.” or “getting a credit card in college,” many people dig themselves into financial holes with credit card use. Others need to learn their lessons over and over again as evidenced by this woman who shared that she paid off, “my credit card when I got my portion of my father’s estate and charging it right back up. Dumbest move ever. I won’t let that happen again. My dad would have kicked my ass from the grave.”

Conclusion

Whether your financial regrets run from minimal to catastrophic, the important thing is to accept the past and do everything you can in the present to get back to financial wellbeing. Any maybe, just maybe you can learn from these people’s mistakes and avoid a regret to two.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

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Judy Garland

It’s time again for Five Things That Make Me Happy And One Thing That’s Pissing Me Off. Why add the “One Thing That’s Pissing Me Off?” Because I’m a realist, that’s why.

Four things that make me happy:

  1. My father recently returned from a trip to Pittsburgh, and came home with an envelope full of wonderful old family photos. This included an iconic photo of my grandfather selling a fur coat to a very young (and very excited) Judy Garland. My grandfather sadly died when I was eleven years old, but I have so many fond memories of visiting his fur store and cozying up with the merchandise. Yes, it’s not exactly the most politically correct business in this day and age, but that has zero effect on my memories. Especially since my grandfather used to let me try on coats and then pretend to be a mannequin in the store window. As a complete aside, who here would not buy Judy’s shoes? I know I would.
  2. I love that there’s a household consignment shop a few short blocks from my house. I was able to throw a few things in a grocery bag yesterday and walk home with $3.30 in my wallet. True, this is hardly a brag-worthy amount of money, but I was walking over either way to grab a Mexican food cart burrito for dinner. Because my consignment shop has an drool-worthy food cart in the parking lot! I grumble in my head about the precious annoyingness of Portland hipsterdom, but sometimes it’s like heaven has shined down upon my neighborhood.
  3. I had a court date on Friday related to a ticket I got back in May for driving with expired plates. The ticketing officer told me that he’d reverse the $110 fee if I took care of it within thirty days. I did take of it immediately, but for various reasons the issue stretched out for more than four months. This stupid ticket has been making me extremely anxious, and I’m happy to finally put the issue behind me. (Just writing about it activated being able to count my pulse rate from the pounding in my ears.)
  4. I’m really looking forward to my trip to New York City in early December. I truly believe that having something to look forward to is a huge component to a happy life, and my upcoming week to NYC fits well within that category. My sister and I are already planning out how to get the most from our days, and I’m contacting friends to make sure we’ll be able to arrange get togethers.

One thing that’s pissing me off:

  1. I’ve been struggling with mortifying writer’s block that’s like a physical weight over my entire being. Not just because of internal pressure, but also because I know that it makes me look like a flake to those who are expecting me to write. I know what I need to do, but somehow my normal tricks aren’t working. (Change the physical location where I’m writing, turn off the internet, write out concrete goals, etc.) Maybe confessing to my writer’s block on this public forum will help, but until that works I’ve written out the Anne Lamott quote of “shitty first draft” and taped it over the TV screen. Netflix, be gone!

    Edit: I completed one of the articles that’s been weighing me down. I’ve got one to go and then a big picture project that’s top secret!

Now your turn. What’s making you happy, and conversely, what’s pissing you off?

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

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I’ve written here and there about a midcentury Lane end table that I thrifted while my sister was visiting this summer. I bought it on a day that we dedicated to exploring Portland’s suburban Goodwill shops. I’d heard for years that these locations were worth the drive, but I’d never made the effort before to investigate whether this held true or was simply a suburban myth.

Not a myth. Not at all. I bought three great vintage pieces from a single Goodwill shop, and only paid $6.99 for each piece. (An antique mirror, a groovy office chair and this table.) I almost missed the table, as it was in a hallway and stacked under another table.

Here’s the chair:

Steelcase chair

And the mirror:

Goodwill sisters

Others might have focused on the condition of the top surface or that awful hardware that’s been added to the bottom of the right hand door, but I knew better. This is a sturdy classic piece that’s much in demand by those who appreciate the midcentury aesthetic. And priced at $6.99, what did I have to lose?!

Goodwill Lane table

Need proof? Here’s one priced at $425 on Chairish.com

Chairish table

The Goodwill employee helped me lift this insanely heavy walnut table into the back of my minivan, and my initial hit that it was Lane was confirmed.

Lane info

That awful hardware, it was easy enough to remove:

Although the holes left in the wood were pretty awful.

wood holes

However, it was easy enough to sand the wood down and fill the holes with stainable wood putty. Of course, this process removed some of the table’s original stain. No problem though, as I was able to locate a small tin of matching stain in my basement, although if this were not the case I could have driven over to my local Habitat ReStore to peruse their crowded shelves of stain. (Seriously, they’re an amazing resource!)

Sanded spot

I did buy a can of Howard’s Restore-A-Finsh, as well as a bottle of their Feed-N-Wax. I thrift for vintage furniture pretty often, so I’ll be able to use these supplies for future projects.

Restore-A-Finish & Feed-N-Wax

I took a fine-grain sanding pad to the table, careful to always sand with the grain and prepared the table for its rejuvenating new finish. I could have done a thorough sanding on the top surface to remove all the water marks, but I wasn’t interested in getting too crazy with this table. (Maybe I should of, but oh, well . . . )

table on porch

I then brought the table inside so I could photograph it looking nice for Craigslist. I was tempted to keep the table, but my sister convinced me that it was the wrong era for my 1914 bungalow. Also, I kind of wanted the money for my sons’ college fund. (The next $15,000 payment is due on January 1st, but it’s not like I’m paying attention . . . or counting down the days.)

Look at the amazing amount of storage! Perfect for lap blankets or board games. Or whatever it is that would need to be locked up. I took a sniff of the interior before I bought it, because you never know what this table was in its former life.

storage

Please be amazed at how rich the wood looks now! And that area where the locking hardware used to be? It’s hardly noticeable now.

finished table

It took a few weeks, but I finally sold the table to a woman who was so enchanted by my handiwork that she didn’t even attempt to bargain me down. Bought for $6.99, $15 spent on supplies, an hour or two of my time and sold for $200. Not too shabby.

Now, if I could just get that mirror and vintage office chair to sell, I’d have an excuse to drive out to the suburbs for some fresh inventory!

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

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Five Frugal Things

by Katy on September 30, 2016 · 37 comments

free hummus kit

  1. My husband is spending a few days up in Seattle visiting with friends, which means that I have the entire house to myself for three whole days! Others might be sad about this occurrence, but I am over the freaking moon! I moved in with my now husband when I was twenty years old, so other than a few dorm rooms, I’ve never had the chance to live by myself over the past 28 (!!!!) years. I truly cherish time spent alone, so this is like a Robin Leach level vacation. I worked yesterday and have a downtown appointment this afternoon, but otherwise I’m going to spend time doing some uninterrupted writing and then get takeout for dinner using a full punch-card from a local restaurant.
  2. I’ll use my free work-provided public transportation pass to get downtown and back.
  3. I’ll stop at my son’s former employer for a couple of free cardboard boxes, as I’ll soon be needing to mail off my eBay sales. (I’ll cut the cardboard to size in order to give extra structure to my second-hand padded envelopes.) Not only will I save money on packaging supplies, but my padded envelope stash was getting a bit unwieldy.
  4. I worked yesterday and brought the very last slab of some lasagna from last week. I don’t know what it is, but there’s something intensely satisfying about using something up to the very last drippity-drop. There might be some endorphin release involved.
  5. I loaded an e-coupon for free hummus from Fred Meyer (Kroger) to my customer card today. You have to load it today, but you’ll have until October 16th to redeem it!

Now your turn. What frugal things have you been up to?

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

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